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Stop smoking – kick the bad habit for good

  •   by Medihelp
  •   31 May 2017
  •   1029 view(s)

It is no secret that smoking is bad for your health. Here are some tips to kick the habit for good:

Start your stop smoking plan with START

The most important step is to decide to stop smoking. Once you have made this decision, you can START doing the following:
S = Set a quit date
T = Tell family, friends and colleagues that you plan to quit
A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting
R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car and work
T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit

Get help

Although there are a number of ways to help you cope with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms after you have kicked the habit, such as electronic cigarettes and patches, the best way to stop is still to simply quit smoking altogether. The American Food and Drug Administration warns against the use of electronic cigarettes, as these still contain quantities of nicotine. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health also shows that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) does not work effectively in the long run.

Follow these 10 tips to help you overcome the cravings:

Practice delay tactics
Your body will tell you: “I want another cigarette”.
Tell your body: “Hold out for another 10 minutes,” and then do something else to distract your mind.

Keep a journal
Record your daily progress in a diary. Note the moments in your life when you crave a cigarette, as these are your triggers for smoking. The journal will also be a source of inspiration when you feel like giving up.

Avoid the triggers
Avoid things that can trigger cravings, like the smell of tobacco. So, don’t accompany your colleagues on their daily smoke breaks and steer clear of the smoking section in restaurants.

Get physical
Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day will help keep the cravings at bay. Start small – take the stairs instead of the lift or take a walk during your lunch break. You can also join Medihelp MultiSport for runners, walkers and cyclists, whether you’re a Medihelp member or not. This way, you can engage with a health-conscious community for that extra bit of motivation to reach your health goals. As an added bonus, you will receive 50% discount on exclusive MultiSport gear and free entry to all Medihelp sponsored events. Click here for more information.

One of the reasons why you smoke is because it helps you to cope with stress, right? Challenge yourself to find alternative ways of relieving stress, such as yoga, breathing exercises or a hobby.

Call for reinforcements
Join HealthPrint – Medihelp’s free online wellness programme available exclusively to Medihelp members. HealthPrint helps you to track and change your behaviour in order to improve your health profile. By seamlessly integrating with your benefit option we’re able to share your Medihelp health data with you as well as the results of your preventive care health assessment tests. You are also able to capture and update your profile and health information. Click here for more information.

Have a good reason
Write down your reasons for quitting, such as improved health or creating a healthier environment for your children. Then put it up where you can read it as often as possible to motivate you.

Keep your jaws busy
Do not skip meals and eat as healthily as possible. When you start craving cigarettes, chew on sugar-free gum, raw carrots, nuts or air-popped popcorn.

Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water to help your body flush out toxins. It minimises withdrawal symptoms and helps cravings pass faster.

Stay away from crutches
A crutch is something that replaces your smoking habit, such as eating sweets or finding comfort in alcohol. Your crutch can become an even worse addiction than smoking. Find healthy ways to deal with your cravings, such as exercise.

Medihelp challenges you to put your health first. Stop smoking and let us know how it influences your quality of life by sharing your results on Facebook at “Be healthy with Medihelp”.
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